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Congress wants 'big three' in Gujarat alliance

Congress wants 'big three' in Gujarat alliance

Thakor community and OBC Ekta Manch leader Alpesh Thakor on Saturday confirmed that he would be joining the Congress Party, ahead of elections in poll-bound Gujarat.

She also said that the BJP had always supported the community and accepted a majority of their demands while the Congress was only trying to reap benefits from the Patidar vote bank, PTI reported. "We stand by our proposal of keeping 49 per cent reservations for OBC, SC/ST intact and passing a resolution in the Assembly once in power to provide for 20 per cent reservations to other communities", he had said. After meeting Gandhi, Thakore said, "Rahul Gandhi would be coming to our rally on October 23 and I will join the Congress party".

With OBCs forming the largest, 40%, vote chunk in Gujarat, the news could not have come at a better time for the Grand Old Party, which would look to wrest the western state from the BJP in the upcoming elections.

Thakor, accompanied by Congress general secretary in-charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot and state party chief Bharatsinh Solanki, met Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi this evening.

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Patel, Thakore and Mewani have led powerful campaigns against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government for their communities. The Congress has given both Mr Patel and Mr Mevani an open invitation to join the party. The Congress also invited like-minded parties and leaders including Aam Aadmi Party and Chhotu Vasava, a tribal deader and JD (U) MLA close to Sharad Yadav.

"If Hardik Patel wants to contest elections in future, the Congress is ready to give him ticket".

"I do not intend to contest elections". The constitutional amendment bill, however, could not be passed as the Congress stalled it in the Rajya Sabha, following its passage in the Lok Sabha. He said: "If Congress supports our issues, we will support the party to the hilt". "We expect them to join us", Solanki said, adding, "Kanu Kalsaria from AAP will also join the Congress". However, Hardik said that he will continue to fight till he has public support.

For the past couple of years the three leaders from Patidar, OBC and Dalit communities have influenced the state politics, drawing huge crowds.

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